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First Liberty Briefing

First Liberty Briefing is an exclusive podcast hosted by First Liberty Institute’s Senior Counsel Jeremy Dys. In about 90-seconds, three times a week, Jeremy recalls the stories that have shaped America’s religious liberty, from the founding era to current legal battles and more. It’s an insider’s look at the stories, cases, people, and laws that have made America the world’s leader in protecting religious liberty.
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Aug 10, 2018

Before he was the CEO of the Family Research Council, Jerry Boykin was a Major in the U.S. Army. A photo recently surfaced of Boykin leading his group of 100 men in a prayer prior to their efforts to save 100 Americans who were being held hostage in 1980. Learn more at FirstLiberty.org/Briefing.


Jerry Boykin has never shied away from a fight. As the CEO of the Family Research Council today, Boykin regularly shares his opinions on a variety of issues from his religious perspective. 

But, Boykin hasn’t always been at FRC.  A photo recently surfaced of Boykin from 1980. The black and white photo features a youthful Boykin, a Major in the U.S. Army then, with dark hair and matching beard.  He’s addressing a group of about 100 Army Delta Force operators.  The room is nondescript, cement walls covered with exposed wiring with but one decoration: a poster. 

That’s not just any poster.  It’s a collage of the pictures of the 100 Americans held hostage in Iran.  Boykin’s Delta Force was about to go rescue them. But, Boykin and his men first paused to pray.

Many might second-guess this decision.  Some might suggest that it was even illegal for Boykin to use his authority to coerce his men into praying.  Others might conclude that the act was little more than civil religion; a meaningless act with no more efficacy than if the operators had gathered together and yelled, “Go team!”

But for the men about to dive into the face of death and danger, prayer is what they wanted and needed.  Thankfully, though our servicemembers sacrifice much in the cause of freedom, they do not give up their religious freedom.

To learn how First Liberty is protecting religious liberty for all Americans, visit FirstLiberty.org.

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